Cam Newton played his first game since he met with NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, to discuss his concern about the lack of protection and equity of penalty flags thrown after guys go high to his head or low to the legs.
Just last week, Cam complained about how he seemingly receives different treatment by officials than other quarterbacks throughout the league. It's not a new story really. Cam claimed the Ed Hochuli dismissed a late hit penalty Newton tried to milk last season, stating he wasn't "old enough to get that call. After Carolina's opener against the Denver Broncos, where guys were clearly head-hunting, Cam's claims were becoming undeniable and unavoidable.
The league issued two fines following the game for unflagged illegal hits.The league carefully defended that many of the claims by Panthers fans were really levied at plays where Cam was not afforded the protections of a passer because he had established himself as a runner.
The hits kept coming after Denver players articulated that they had actively tried to get Cam's head, and it worked they claimed.
After Calais Campbell went for Cam's legs in the NFC Championship rematch, Newton was fed up after another flag was pocketed in what he believed would have been thrown for any QB not named Cam. Campbell was apologetic, but Cam was frustrated, and it showed in the post-game presser. The non-calls Cam expressed were taking the fun out of the game. The head-shots and the bodies rolling at his knees made him feel unsafe as a pocket passer.
He would take it up with the commissioner personally, Cam claimed. Well after meeting with Goodell and the officials on high alert concerning the emerging image problem related to the internalized and vicious beating delivered to Cam regular hours, it turns out that the Rams and the NFL are seeing eye-to-eye on the matter. Unfortunately, Cam may be seeing double because of it.
Twice, Rams defenders made helmet to helmet contact when sacking Cam in the pocket. There were no flags. Now we know why guys are doing this. First, Cam is so big, it's just hard for them to bring the guy down. Second, the Cam treatment has set a precedent that you can get away with these types of hits to Cam. It's understandable.
What's not understandable is why the NFL isn't doing anything about it. So I guess we'll need to say keep saying it until they start listening, #IStandWithCam.
By the Professor, aka Tony Dunn
Follow him on Twitter @Cat_Chronicles